All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for June 2004

49ers' Newest Player Is First To Play With Multiple Sclerosis

Downey Was Invited As An Undrafted Free Agent

http://www.nbc11.com/sports/3375712/detail.html

June 2, 2004
NBC11.com

The San Francisco 49ers officially added offensive lineman Kiawatha Downey to the team's roster Wednesday.

Downey was signed after appearing in the 49ers first mini-camp as a tryout.

However, what makes the undrafted free agent more impressive is the fact that he lives with multiple sclerosis -- a disease that affects the central nervous system.

He is the first active NFL player with the disease.

Downey takes weekly medication, and suffers from fatigue and headaches.

“That’s a tremendous thing for him to get an opportunity to play professional football with MS. It’s a very, very special story. It just says a lot about him. Our front office gave him a chance. He looked good in our mini-camp. We’ll be excited to watch him play,” said head coach Dennis Erickson.

A Division II All-America guard at Indiana University-Pennsylvania, Downey was invited to the Indianapolis combine workouts but went undrafted. The 49ers were the only NFL team to invite him for a tryout.
 

Copyright © 2004, NBC11.com